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‘Legacy caravan’ ends at EDSA marker

The last installment of the “Duterte Legacy Caravan” events was staged on EDSA at the People Power Monument on Sunday, seeking to highlight the outgoing administration’s programs, policies and accomplishments—including gains in its controversial war on drugs.
RODY’S LEGACY. The Department of Interior and Local Government leads the culminating activity of the Duterte Legacy Caravan at the People Power Monument in Quezon City on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Manny Palmero 

The caravan campaign, which kicked off in October 2021, has reached more than 2 million people, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said.

“Over the last six years, the Duterte administration initiated a chain of positive events in our lives by ensuring peaceful and safe communities, getting rid of illegal drugs, combatting all forms of corruption, providing proactive and efficient social services, and upholding the human rights of the people, while moving towards post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” Año said in a statement.

Among the government services offered during the caravan events were the issuance of police clearance; health checkups; free haircuts; Philippine Health Insurance Corporation registration; processing of birth, marriage, and death certificates; and the distribution of food packs.

Among the accomplishments highlighted by the caravan were the gains in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

More than 24,000 villages across the country have been cleared of illegal drugs since the start of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on banned drugs in mid-2016, the government said.

Based on the latest data released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) over the weekend, a total of 24,766 out of the 42,045 barangays have been declared drug-cleared, 6,575 were drug unaffected or drug-free, and 10,704 have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs as of March 2022.

The drug-clear status follows the certification of members of the oversight committee on the Barangay Drug-Clearing Program (BDCP).

Under the BDCP, law enforcement agencies take care of supply reduction efforts to disrupt the manufacture and distribution of dangerous drugs, while government agencies and local government units (LGUs) focus on demand and harm reduction strategies to prevent people from taking and wanting illegal drugs, and reform drug offenders to become productive citizens of society.

Overall, authorities have seized P88.83 billion worth of illegal substances across the country since the start of the Duterte administration.

The amount included P76.17 billion worth of shabu.

Authorities have confiscated 11,788.83 kilograms (kg) of shabu, 10,157.27 kg of marijuana, 163.295 pieces of ecstasy, and 530.24 kg of cocaine, while dismantling 1,111 drug dens, and 19 clandestine shabu laboratories from July 2016 to March 2022.

Despite these gains, President Duterte recently admitted his campaign promise to end the illegal drug trade in “three to six months” was the result of “hubris.”

Estimates of the death toll in the government’s war on drugs vary. Officially, 6,229 drug personalities have been killed as of March 2022. News organizations and human rights groups say the death toll is over 12,000. The victims included 54 children in the first year.

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